From the Archives

6 times a day

I had planned to write a post about my nebulizer treatment routine, but then I thought what the heck... I'll just video it! The point Im trying to make in the clip, is that the daily nebbing routine for many of us is a lot more time consuming than one ...

Read More

For the 112th time

Gee I haven't written about a good ole hospital admission for quite sometime. Since I just completed my 112th, maybe now's a good time. The theme for this latest admission is fun with steroid psychosis and why IV fluids should always be monitored closely. The fun begins The trigger to the flare leading ...

Read More

Do you know when it's time to go in?

The idea for this post came to me during the middle a recent severe exacerbation. Actually, it was the same exacerbation that put me in the hospital for 12 days, for which I am still recovering. Foremost on my mind during an asthma excerbation is the bad will ...

Read More

Recovering Albuter-holic

Rick, the author of the Respiratory Therapy Cave , wrote to me the other day talking about what it was like growing up with severe asthma. One of the things he mentioned that I thought was kinda funny, was how he used to sleep with an inhaler ...

Read More

The not so glamorous side of being a severely asthmatic marathon walker

Yeah, I made it to Boston , Ive walked the Rome and Portland marathons a couple times, and yeah Ive been written up in lots of walk magazines and medical journals, but I think a lot of people who hear about me or read my blog, assume that ...

Read More

The Recovery phases of a severe asthma exacerbation

Suffice it to say, I wasn't exactly a happy camper when I wrote that Dr W helped me get through this awful time by reassuring me that what anguish I was experiencing was a normal response after suffering such a severe flare up, and that my complaints were ...

Read More

Not just Asthma, Severe Asthma!

Not to downplay the heartache and suffering that people with milder forms of asthma have to sometimes contend with; obviously it's a big deal when you can't breath, but the healthcare establishment needs to stop lumping all asthmatics together under the same general heading of "asthma".This is a problem because ...

Read More

Asthma Purgatory

Whenever the weather is bad, so is my asthma. My lungs are extremely sensitive to humidity in the air and/or the slightest changes in barometric changes. Changes in the climate, changes in the seasons, you name it.... my lungs will react to it. I'm a walking weather ...

Read More

O2 sats and asthma attacks revisited

After 9 years of blogging about life with severe asthma, I still get a lot of traffic from people searching the web for specific information about O2 saturation and how it relates to asthma or the severity of an asthma attack. So for those who might have missed my earlier ...

Read More

Venous Access Port ( VAP)

After an estimated 104 hospital admissions for asthma and probably 10 times that number of IV sticks, I have no peripheral venous access left. A half a century of IV steroids has rendered my veins useless. The only place they can get lines in, are in my knuckles and toes. ...

Read More

Double Whammy Asthma

I often find it frustrating that here I am, a life long asthmatic, a Respiratory therapist and an asthma educator, yet still unable in normal conversation, to describe what makes my type of asthma so different from others. When asked to define asthma in general, I usually give the ...

Read More

Just another week in the life of a hardcore asthmatic

I usually don't post about my hospital experiences because its not a subject I like to re-live. Its an unwanted , terrifying , but necessary part of my life. When it happens , I just try to get through it and then I try to blank it out ...

Read More

Buried Alive

The photo is from the movie "Awake", but what happened to me last September was not fiction.. It was the real deal! Back on Sept 20th of 2010, I was admitted to the hospital for a severe asthma exacerbation(so what else is new). About 8 hours into the exacerbation, my ...

Read More

Asthma guilt trip

How many times have you had a really bad asthma flare, but had serious trepidations about going to the emergency room for treatment? How many times have you felt guilty that maybe you weren't sick enough to be admitted to the hospital? Well, that's pretty much been the ...

Read More

Questions for Dr. Wenzel

Last week after finding out just how damaged my lungs really are, the only thing going through my head was..WHY? All of the assumptions I had made about my asthma throughout the years, suddenly didn't seem to make sense anymore. I was beginning to wonder if I really ever ...

Read More



This is a picture of me on a ventilator last year during a severe asthma exacerbation ( what they call status asthmaticus). See the little IV bottle inside the blue rectangle with the milky looking stuff inside ? That's Propofol ! Also known as ...

Read More

15 months Intubation Free!

It feels good to brag about something positive for a change. This week marks 15 whole months since Ive had to have a tube shoved down my windpipe in order to breath. Ive had zero, what I would call "critical condition" type hospitalizations in that time period as well. Granted, ...

Read More

My Trip to Churchill

My journey begins in Winnipeg (my very first time crossing the Canadian border). Just 2 days earlier there had been a pretty bad snow storm and potential weather delays at the airport were a big concern.Fortunately things worked out and I got there on time without any problems. ...

Read More

Racewalking for Science

As part of the Shortness of breath self-Management research study that I'm involved in over at UCSF, every 3 months I have to go into the lab where they check my PFTs and then have me do a series of physical fitness exercises. Sometimes they have me get ...

Read More

Lung Lingo

Yes it's true, we asthmatics have a language all our own.   Here's my current list. Please feel free to add new words and definitions to it .   Yellow Zoning When someone is stuck in their yellow breathing zone. Cradle Asthmatic A person who has had asthma since earlier childhood or ...

Read More

Written by

Are ER Asthma Treatment Protocols changing?

Is it just me or are things changing? Being a frequently flyer in the ER asthma world, Ive noticed more and more changes over the years in the ER treatment protocols for acute asthma flares. Most notably are the changes in dosage and frequency of administering steroids and certain bronchodilators. When it comes to IV […]

July 24, 2014 3
Portland Finish Line 2007
Written by

Training to walk my 9th marathon

Hard to believe that it’s been 3 years since I’ve trained for a race. I came close to doing one last year, but a lot of stuff was happening and I was getting sick too often. Well except for my little dental mishap a couple weeks ago, things have been much better lately and that’s […]

July 8, 2014 0
Steve marathon
Written by

Uh-oh… He’s at it again

Tell me that I can’t do something and it’s a pretty sure bet that I’ll find a way to prove you wrong. That’s pretty much the way Ive been feeling these past couple years, only it wasn’t other people telling me I couldn’t do things, it was myself. I swore when I finally crossed the […]

June 22, 2014 3
The Frankenstein look
Written by

Add Sleep Apnea to the list

To say that this new diagnosis was a shock would be an understatement. Talk about denial, I went into the sleep lab a few weeks ago thinking that by doing these tests we could finally rule out the notion that I suffer from OSA. I told myself..No way do I have sleep apnea, after all, […]

May 23, 2014 3
pulse ox
Written by

Self Observations: O2 Sats and exercise

Related Posts:O2 sats and asthma attacks revisitedBreathing Basics —O2 Saturation and OximetersSurvive an attack, register for a marathon6 times a day Self Observations: Severe Asthma and Endurance walkingUh-oh… He’s at it again

May 17, 2014 0
Written by

Self Observations: FEV1 and Breathlessness

Always curious about things, earlier this week I did a series of FEV1 measurements on myself. I wanted to see if my dyspnea(shortness of breath)which waxes and wanes throughout the day, would correlate with my FEV1 readings. I took the first reading early in the morning when my breathing is at its best. I blew […]

May 14, 2014 3
Asthma obits Google images
Written by

Survivors Guilt

Every time I hear about someone who died from asthma, especially when it’s a child, I can’t help but feel just a little guilty for living as long as I have. Despite having one of the lowest asthma mortality rates in the world, 3500-4000 people still die from asthma each year in the United States, […]

May 9, 2014 2
Written by

The positives

Even though it sucks living with severe asthma, things could be worse.. much worse. I’m fortunate on so many fronts. I tend to post a lot about the negatives, so here are a few positives: * Despite more than 100 hospitalizations and some close calls with this disease, Ive managed to survive 59 years and […]

April 28, 2014 4
Written by

Secondary conditions

No doubt most asthmatics have at one time or another, dealt with some of the nasty side effects associated with steroids, such as high blood sugars, adrenal problems, osteoporosis, etc. But you may not be aware that there are also secondary conditions that can develop down the road as a result of the disease itself. […]

April 10, 2014 3
Written by

SARP Newsletter

The Severe Asthma Research Program’s first Newsletter. Well worth reading! A Breath of Fresh Air Related Posts:A SARP’in we will go…….Downsizing23rd time’s a charmPFTs Du Jour Self Observations: Severe Asthma and Endurance walkingTraining update Aug 2014

March 19, 2014 0
Written by

The “A” word

Im talking about the other A word…. ANXIETY As a Respiratory Therapist and a lifelong asthmatic, I know all too well that anxiety and breathlessness usually go hand in hand. Still, I often catch myself getting a little defensive when a medical person abruptly brings up the A word and asthma in the same sentence, […]

March 7, 2014 14
Dr Wenzel and I
Written by

SARP III complete

Well, almost. The study actually lasts for 3 years, but the bulk of the testing can usually be completed in 4 half day visits. After that, it’s annual follow ups and the occasional online questionnaire. Because I had a separate clinic appointment with Dr Wenzel, and because there has to be a 3 week space […]

February 21, 2014 1
Hosp 10-2013
Written by

Not just Asthma, Severe Asthma!

Not to downplay the heartache and suffering that people with milder forms of asthma have to sometimes contend with; obviously it’s a big deal when you can’t breath, but the healthcare establishment needs to stop lumping all asthmatics together under the same general heading of “asthma”.This is a problem because severe asthma is not the […]

February 16, 2014 2
Page 3 of 50«123456»...Last »

Have Asthma?

See how environmental conditions can effect your symptoms. Track your Peak Flows HERE


Leading the Research